I is for Ian - Page 39

It also just seemed he was out in the halls and rooms of the hospital far too much to actually enjoy any of the amenities. That alone gave me some hesitation. Even if there was a whole kitchen waiting for us in Dr. Sutton’s suite, that didn’t mean it actually had anything in it that would be helpful. We might be able to smash some of the vending machine food together to craft something new prison-style, but I wasn’t going to be thrilled about that prospect.

As we walked through the ER, I realized I didn’t feel as creeped out anymore. Sure, I wasn’t exactly a fan of Ian, but he was a big, strong guy, and having him there meant I was completely alone. My fear of the empty hospital was irrational to begin with, but irrationality doesn’t make fear any less impactful. Having him there with me meant I wasn’t by myself wandering around the empty building, and that made me feel better.

Even if horror movie logic did set in and we were suddenly under attack purely by merit of being in an empty hospital with no electricity throughout the majority of the building, Ian looked like he would be able to defend us both. At least long enough for me to take the opportunity to take off running and save myself.

We finally made it to Dr. Sutton’s suite, and I walked in almost thinking it was going to turn out to be some sort of practical joke. I didn’t really understand why it would be funny considering Ian would be just as screwed without real food as I would.

But when we went into the space, I saw that Ian was telling the truth.

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“What?” Ian asked.

“Not you,” I said. “I just mean in general. It’s just… this place. Is he serious?”

Ian glanced around and shrugged. “It’s nice. But he is the Chief of Staff. Doesn’t he deserve to have a nice place at the hospital when he spends so much time here?”

“A nice place, sure,” I said. “But I think this goes a bit beyond that, don’t you? I mean, look at this. The rest of us are sleeping on cots in a lounge, hoping to get some rest between emergencies, eating cold food or snacks, and sometimes getting a chance to rinse off in a shared shower room. Then here’s Dr. Sutton in his private apartment with a bathroom and a whole kitchen. This is absurd. Nothing should be like this in a hospital.

“The money could have gone to the operational budget, or for new equipment, or to subsidize care for people who can’t afford it. We could upgrade entire sections of the hospital and offer so many more amenities, but no. Dr. Sutton had to have his palace.”

Ian’s face darkened a little, and he held up a hand.

“Hey, wait a minute. I thought you respected him,” he said.

“I respect him as a doctor, but this is really outrageous.”

“Well, then you’ll be glad to know he didn’t ask for it in the first place, and he also didn’t ask for the new one on the upper floor. It’s something the board of directors decided on without asking him or waiting for his approval. They think he should have access to these kinds of things when he’s here, and so they are doing it whether he wants it or not,” Ian said.

“Really?” I asked. “How would you know that?”

“Because he told me himself.”

I had a moment of feeling bad for immediately jumping on the situation and getting so angry about it. The fact there was something so posh in the hospital was still upsetting to me, but at least it made me feel better knowing Dr. Sutton hadn’t requested the special treatment and luxurious accommodations.

I turned my attention to the kitchen. Especially now that I knew he wasn’t particularly fond of having so much space, I had my doubts Dr. Sutton kept the kitchen terribly well stocked. Opening the refrigerator revealed a handful of ingredients and a couple of premade meals. The cabinets had a few things as well. It wasn’t a huge amount, but it was definitely a good start. And there were only two of us, so the supplies could be stretched.

Suddenly, something occurred to me.

“The kitchen downstairs,” I said. “In the basement.”

“What about it?” Ian asked.

“I guess I hadn’t thought about it because there’s no power down there, but the refrigerators and freezers should still be cold. The power hasn’t been fully out long enough to completely defrost everything.”

He shook his head. “No, I wouldn’t think so. I don’t know if I would trust dairy products in the regular refrigerators, maybe, but if there are things in the freezers, they should still be usable.”

“There are big freezers full of meat, vegetables, fruit… all the things they use to make meals for the patients. We can bring some of it up here and use it in the kitchen. It will save it from going to waste, and we’ll have actual food while we’re here.”

Tags: Natasha L. Black Romance
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